Helen I. Lavasseur

Helen I. Lavasseur

Helen I. Lavasseur, age 102, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at Kindred Hearts Assisted Living in Cottage Grove.

She was born Aug. 23, 1915, the daughter of Herman and Irene Lanz in Harvard, Ill. Helen graduated from Monroe High School in 1933, and Madison Business College in 1935, with a degree in Business Law. She worked for Drs. Kennedy on the square in Madison. In October 1937, she married Walter Lavasseur of Argyle. Walter and Helen started their married life in Argyle where they were both Boy and Girl Scout leaders. During World War II, Helen taught the girls in her scout troop how to knit and the troop knit many helmets donated to the U.S. Navy.

After living in Argyle for 10 years, Helen and Walter moved to Brodhead, where Walter worked for Commonwealth Telephone (which later became General Telephone, and now Verizon). Helen opened a dress shop in Brodhead, The Fashion House. Helen also belonged to Homemakers and Eastern Star, and sang in Sweet Adeline’s. After living in Brodhead for 10 years, Walter was transferred to Portage, where they lived for 25 years. In Portage, Helen worked for the University of Wisconsin Extension in the county courthouse, and volunteered at the hospital. After retiring in 1977, Helen and Walter enjoyed many winter vacations in Fort Myers Beach, Fla. Walter passed away in 1987, and Helen moved to Madison to be near her son and his family. Helen is a member of Bashford Methodist Church in Madison and enjoyed her many friends, playing cards, water exercise, book clubs, theatre bus trips, XYZ, and knitting baby caps for Madison General Hospital. Helen’s paternal great-grandfather, Fridolin Streiff, was one of the founders of the original Swiss community, New Glarus, Wis.

Helen is survived by her son, Stephen (Deborah) Lavasseur of Madison; daughter, Jan Christmas (Peter Williams) of Lake Ozark, Mo.; four cherished granddaughters, Ianthe (Dr. Scott) Stanley of Rosepine, La., Anna Christmas of Los Angeles, Calif., Ciera Lavasseur and Brooke Lavasseur, both of Madison; three beloved great-grandchildren, Tessa Stanley and Troy Stanley of Rosepine, La., and Kyria Lavasseur of Madison; her brother, Bob Lanz (Elaine) of Tarzana, Calif; and a cousin, Bill Lanz of New Glarus. Helen was preceded in death by two of her brothers, James (Bud) Lanz who passed away last year and Fritz Lanz who passed away in 2012. All three of Helen’s brothers are World War II veterans.

A memorial service will be held at BASHFORD METHODIST CHURCH, 329 North St., Madison 11 a.m. on Friday, April 6, 2018. Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery in Monroe. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to Bashford Methodist Church. The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Kindred Hearts of Cottage Grove and St. Agnes hospice for their loving and passionate support and care. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.